Dancing and immigration

My friend pulled out of lunch at the last minute, as she wasn’t feeling well this morning and needed to go to the doctor during lunch today. So I ended up going to the dance comp earlier than I expected to.

I’m glad I decided to attend this comp, even just as a spectator: the standard of dancing was just on a totally different stratosphere. It must be what it’s like watching a comp in Europe. I don’t know what the Europeans do, but their dancing is truly incredible. I don’t get to watch so many high-level dancers all at the one comp, so this was a rare experience. Plus we got a three-course dinner, and I actually got to enjoy the food this time, as I wasn’t dancing! It was well organised at a nice venue; with good food and top-level dancers. I definitely want to go again next year. Maybe we can get a group together 😊

Oh and I applied to use the e-channel service at Hong Kong airport. Apparently Aussies with no “issues” with the HK government can apply. And since we’ve been coming to HK so often recently (and will probably continue to do so), I thought by being able to use their e-channel when going in and out should help to expedite the travelling. Hopefully…! 😊

Feeling a little down

We went to the grand opening of a store of this ballroom and latin dress designer from China; they are opening a store in HK. One of our friends from SG recommended that we go, she really likes his designs. We actually spent a lot longer there than we expected to! His designs are really nice, very intricate with a lot of detail. And not too expensive, relatively speaking, given the amount of work is involved in each of the dresses. So I have now finally ordered a new Ballroom dress, and N a new Latin top 😲 And am now also feeling a bit ill as a result, as it is still sooo much money. I’m sure I’ll be excited once he sends through the sketches, but for now, I just have to try and calm down! So much for our finance goal this year. That’s taken yet another hit 😔

N went to karate soon after we finished ordering our new costumes, and I organised to meet up with a friend tomorrow for lunch, before I head over to watch a dance comp (on a Monday!). Apparently her office is near the comp venue, so that’s worked out really well!

N went out for dinner with the karate guys, so I went out for dinner on my own. But because I was feeling quite down, I didn’t really feel like venturing out of the hotel, and was tempted to just order room service. But it’s times like this when I know going out is the better thing for me to do. So I forced myself to wander outside.

I felt like having sushi, and apparently there’s a sushi place virtually right around the corner from the hotel. So I did manage to go out, and I didn’t even have to go far at all to find exactly what I was looking for. The convenience of HK is just astounding.

And then after dinner, I was tossing up about going to the gym. What’s new 😂 As N was on his way back to the hotel, he asked if I was going to go tonight. He said he’ll come up too, so that was enough to convince me to go 😊 As per usual, I’m glad I went! I still don’t understand why I still have to struggle, as I know perfectly well I’ll feel better when I go.

We got back to the room and N started looking through photos and videos on his iPad – from 5-6 years ago! We watched a few clips of our old dance videos from when we were still living in Melbourne. Omg. All I can say is that I’m glad we’ve improved since then! 😂

Almost 12km

We did a fair bit of walking today. We haven’t really ventured off HK Island though, so there’s a lot more of HK that we need to visit! And we actually haven’t done much touristy stuff! We spend a lot of our time just walking around and exploring HK Island. We passed on an invitation from one of N’s colleagues to go hiking with her today. N had yet another long week at work, so all he really wanted to do was rest today. But we still managed to walk almost 12km today, and we also did a short session at the gym, so it wasn’t really all that restful! 😂 Maybe we’ll do a hiking trail next time we’re here.

My feet are still throbbing, and both our hips are sore. Omg. Once your hips start to hurt just from walking (even though it was 12km 😳), I reckon that’s a sign that you’re old 😆 We walked through Victoria Park today, and there was a group of young’uns doing squat walks. I don’t think I could do those now, my knees couldn’t handle the stress. So I’ll just pass on that exercise and leave it to the youngsters with the perfectly functioning knees!

We actually went to a dance studio today to practise, but it was so busy that we decided against it. Later we found out that there’s a comp on Monday, which that particular dance studio is organising. So I guess everyone was in the studio today practising for it. I think I’ll try and go and watch on Monday, if it’s not too expensive. The comp venue isn’t that far from our hotel, so it’d be a nice way to spend my last night in this city.

Staying close to the hotel

It was my first full day in HK. And I ended up leaving the hotel at around 11:30am 😂 I went and had breakfast at this small cafe around the corner from the hotel called 18 Grams. I had a banana and peanut butter bagel, which was so filling that this meal ended up being brunch 😊

I then just wandered around Causeway Bay for the rest of the afternoon, walking around the Times Square area, where they had The Incredibles promotional statues just outside the entrance of the shopping mall. So cute!

I then headed back to the hotel and spoke to my parents for a little while when I was back in our room. I also read a bit, and then N came back from work and we headed out for a quick dinner, also around the corner, just across the road from where I had brunch. I didn’t venture far from the hotel today! 😂

An ordinary Thursday, with a flight thrown in

I went to bed really late last night (about 3am 😲), because I was all keen bean and full of energy. But maybe it was more nervous energy, because I just wanted to get stuff done last night before I flew out today 😂

And then the fire alarm went off just before 6am. Whether it was in our building or the building next door, I couldn’t tell. I was half asleep! All I could think about was hoping that it was a false alarm because I really didn’t want to get out of bed and evacuate, if it was indeed a genuine fire and that it was in our building and not next door. But a few seconds later, it switched off and I breathed a sigh of relief 😅 I could go back to sleep and get a few more hours’ sleep this morning.

I woke up once every hour, though, until my alarm went off at 9am, so it wasn’t the most restful of sleeps. But I knew I had things to do today, including cleaning up the last few things around the house before I flew out later tonight, so the energy still magically came from somewhere.

I did go to the vet and to the FX seminar, so it was as normal a Thursday as I could make it. Except all the house preparation and final packing. And the worst part of travelling: leaving Kitty. I was actually late to the airport because I didn’t want to leave her all alone. I was hoping to sneak out when she was asleep, but that didn’t work out as I had hoped. Instead, she watched me leave the house, looking all sad and forlorn 😔

So I didn’t have much time at the airport this time. I bought some Irvin’s Salted Egg chips for N’s colleagues, entered a competition currently being held at Changi, and then it was time to head to my gate already. I didn’t get the chance to shop or visit the Butterfly Garden. But that’s ok, I wanted to maximise my time with Kitty, and I accomplished that 😊

I discovered on board that you can now link your seat to the SingaporeAir app! How cool is that?! I was wishing this exact same thing just a few flights ago, being able to access your playlist just by knowing where you’re sitting on any Singapore Airlines plane. I have to figure out how to use it properly though, as it wasn’t quite syncing for me on this flight. I compiled a playlist on my phone, but I couldn’t access it from my seat. However the playlist I compiled on board, I could control on my phone. So maybe it’s only a one-way street at the moment, seat monitor to phone, and not vice versa? I’ll link again on my return flight home, and see what happens then.

On the flight, I watched this Chinese variety show to help improve my listening. I chose this particular one coz Dwayne Johnson was a guest on the episode that they were showing on board! 😆 He was promoting his Jumanji movie, but it was good to see him mucking around and joining in the challenges and activities on the show. I couldn’t really follow what some of the challenges were, which made me even more determined to get my Chinese to a level where I can at least get the gist.

I landed safely, albeit a little late. I still managed to get to the hotel by train, as I think trains operate until 1am in HK. Freaking awesome! I hope I can get a good night’s sleep tonight, as I am feeling rather spent right now!

Actual vs plan

In complete contrast to – and because of – yesterday, I was very mindful of how I approached my day today. I already planned to head over to the SG Garden Festival in the morning, and then head over to a bathroom supply store to pick up a new soap dish, before heading home to do some work. And then in the evening, go to the dance social to get some practice in.

I did end up doing most of this, but everything was moved about three hours later than I had planned! So it was already noon by the time I got to the Garden Festival 😩 And then the Festival turned out to be so much better than I had expected that I ended up staying there for way longer than I had originally planned! So if you like flowers and plants, I highly recommend this Festival 👍

So the only thing that I didn’t do as per my original plan was to go to dancing. Since I ended up spending so much time at the Festival, everything else got pushed back even more, so it was already 7pm by the time I got home. And I hadn’t done any work, nor packed for my flight tomorrow. But since I’d walked for about six hours today already, I figured that I could skip dancing and the gym today anyway 😊

So now I’m packed. And as per usual, I feel like I’ve overpacked – even though I’ve only got carry on! So what I have packed for this five-day trip, excluding what I’ll be wearing onto the plane :

  • 2 gym outfits
  • 2 tops
  • A pair of shorts
  • A pair of sandals
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 2 bras
  • 3 pairs of undies
  • A dress, if we end up going somewhere relatively nice
  • A cardigan

Gawd, even typing that out seems like a lot! 😆 Let’s see how I go and what I actually end up wearing 😊

A bit flustered

I feel like I wasted today… I don’t quite know where the day went, and now I’m at the end of it shrugging my shoulders wondering what in the world I did today! All I know is that no tax papers were collated today 😂

What I do remember: I got my nails done; went grocery shopping; did some work; did some laundry; read a bit; went to the gym; and watched an episode of Masterchef Australia. OK, I guess that’s where my day went! 😂 But it all just happened in such a blur. I obviously wasn’t very mindful of my day today.

I think I’m feeling a bit flustered because I’m flying out to Hong Kong later this week, and I haven’t done much (anything!) to prepare for it. Usually I like to get the apartment in some sort of order, so that when I return, I come home to a tidy house. I also haven’t figured out what I’m bringing yet, and because I intend on going with just carry on again, I need to be more organised with my packing – and I haven’t yet started working on that either. Argh!

The additional stuff

I was feeling all pumped for a Monday, I have no idea why. It’s not like I had a decent night’s sleep or anything, where I was feeling all re-energised from being so well rested. My sleep was still broken, with Little Miss waking me up a few times during the night. I listed out all the things that I need and want to do this week, and I was all keen bean and just wanted to dive right in and do them all! Wth?! 😲

But I ended up doing barely any of them. I just did my usual stuff: vet, trading, gym… But none of the other additional stuff that I wanted to get through this week, like get my tax papers in order! I still haven’t collated FY17, and now I already have to start getting FY18 sorted 😩 But it’s tax papers. You can probably understand why I just can’t find the motivation to work on this…! Maybe I should focus on the potential tax refund, that might get me going! 😆

But I did work on my new blog project, which is slowwwlyyy coming together. Ever so slowly…

Let’s see what I can get through tomorrow… 😳

A relaxed and heart-warming Sunday

We moved our Latin lesson to earlier this morning, so N had time to catch his flight to HK this afternoon. We agreed to a 10:45am start – and yet we still struggled to get up in time for it! Argh! We are just not morning people! Will I ever accept this fact?! 😂

We did Paso Doble today, that elusive fifth dance that we never do. And by not working on it, it is keeping us from competing in five-dance Latin events. At least this way, if we keep working on it for at least the next few weeks in our lesson (when we’re in SG, that is), and we keep practising it ourselves, then we can slowly start building it into our repertoire, and before we know it, we’ll be able to compete with it 😊

Oh, we got some feedback from our performance last Sunday from the guests. They described us as elegant! Awww! That’s so nice! That’s exactly how I like to express myself when I dance, so for others to describe our dancing in this exact same way is just so heart-warming 😊 Despite freaking out every time we go out and perform, I do like it when the audience appreciates our dancing. That is, hearing that we’re not boring them to tears! 😂

I then spent the afternoon tracking flights: a friend flew from Canberra to Sydney, and then N’s flight to HK. The Canberra-Sydney flight is nothing: the plane takes off, and as soon as they’ve reached whatever required altitude, they’re needing to get the passengers back in their upright seats in order to land 😂 So basically as N’s flight was hurrying to get everyone on board, the Canberra-Sydney flight was done and dusted. Nonetheless, I find this whole tracking business so much fun 😊

I actually wanted to go back and check out the kites at Marina Barrage again today, but it was quite warm this afternoon, so I changed my mind and stayed home and read a bit instead. I ended up taking a nap too, since I had such a disrupted sleep last night, no thanks to Little Miss. It’s that time of year when even I can’t survive without the aircon. Summer is here, baby! The only time in the year when it’s warm enough for me to go swimming 🏊‍♀️

Kites and dinner

We didn’t have Chinese class today, so we took our time getting up. We took it a bit too leisurely: we had brunch at 12:30pm! 😂 Sighhh… But it’s nice not to have anything to get to on a weekend morning 😊

We then went to Marina Barrage, this nubbin off Gardens by the Bay, to watch people fly their kites. It was Kite Day, well, it’s actually Kite Weekend. There were some pretty kites, but some just stayed asleep for the hour or so that we were there 😔 They were the larger kites, so maybe it just wasn’t windy enough for them to get up off the ground. Such a shame. So I’m wondering whether or not I could be bothered heading back there again tomorrow. Let’s see 😊

And then in the evening, we went and had dinner with some friends. They had a two-for-one offer, with a minimum of four people, and they needed us to make four 😂 It was a buffet dinner, so it was a pretty good deal! 👍